Obligations quasi ex delicto and Strict Liability in Roman Law

31 Journal of Legal History (2010), pp. 1-20

Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2012/03

26 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2012 Last revised: 16 Jun 2013

See all articles by Eric Descheemaeker

Eric Descheemaeker

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: January 19, 2012

Abstract

The meaning of the Gaian-Justinianic division of obligations arising from unlawful events into obligations ex delicto and quasi ex delicto has long been a puzzle for Romanists. The strict liability theory, which understands ‘quasi-delicts’ as examples of situational wrongs, defined independently of fault, was first aired in the 1940s but has never gained widespread support. The case of the iudex qui litem suam facit was regarded as a stumbling block for the theory. The present article aims to make a new and systematic case for strict liability as the basis of the quasi-delictal category and argues that, in the light of archaeological discoveries which have forced us to reconsider our understanding of the judge’s liability, we can now have a coherent picture of Roman quasi-delictal liability as liability even without fault.

Keywords: Roman law, quasi-delicts, obligations quasi ex delicto, liability of the judge, iudex qui litem suam facit, Gaius, Justinian

Suggested Citation

Descheemaeker, Eric, Obligations quasi ex delicto and Strict Liability in Roman Law (January 19, 2012). 31 Journal of Legal History (2010), pp. 1-20; Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2012/03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1988263 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1988263

Eric Descheemaeker (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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